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PARADISE REGAIN'D.

BOOK I.

IT

Who ere while the happy Garden lung,
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By one Man's Disobedience loft, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,

By one man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foild $
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste Wilderness.

Thou Spirit who ledst this glorious Eremite Into the Desart, his victorious Field Against the fpiritual Foe, and brought'st him thence By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire, Asthou art wont, my prompted Song else mute, And bear through heighth or depth of Nature's bounds With prosp'rous wing full fumm’d to tell of deeds Above Heroic, though in secret done,

15 And unrecorded left through many an Age, Worthy t' have not remain's so long unfung.

Now had the great Proclaimer with a voice
More awful than the sound of Trumpet, cry'd
Repentance, and Heav'ns Kingdom nigh at hand
To all Baptiz'd: to his great Baptisin flock'd
With awe the Regions round, and with them came

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From Nazareth the Son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan came, as then obscure,
Unmark't, unknown; but him the Baptist loon 25
Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his Heavenly Office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm’d: on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a Dove

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The Spirit defcended, while the Father's voice
From Heav'n pronounced him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who roving ftill
About the World, at that Assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and with the voice divine

35 Nigh Thunder-ftruck, th' exalted man, to whom Such high attest was giv'n, a while survey'd With wonder, then with envy fraught, and rage, Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To Council summons all his mighty Peers,

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Within thick Clouds and dark ten-fold involy'd,
A gloomy Conlistory; and them amidst
With looks agaft and sad he thus befpake.

O ancient Pow'rs of Air and this wide World,
For much morë willingly I mention Air,
This our old Conquest, than remember Hell
Our hated habitation; well ye know
How many Ages, as the years of men,
This Universe we have pofíeft, and rul'd
In manner at our will th' affairs of Earth,
Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
Lost Paradise deceiv'd by me, though since
with dread attending when that fatal wound,
Shall be inflicted by the Seed of Eve
Upon my head, long the decrees of Heav'n
Delay, for longest time to him is short ;
And now too soon for us the circling hours
This dreaded time have compaft, wherein we
Muft bide the stroke of that long threatn'd wound,

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At least if so we can, and by the head
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infring'd, our freedom and our being
In this fair Empire won of Earth and Air ;
For this ill news I bring, the Woman's feed
Destin'd to this, is late of Woman born,
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to archieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great Prophet, to proclaim

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His coming, is sent Harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the Consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off fin, and fit them so
Purifi'd to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honour as their King; all come,
And he himself among them was Baptiz'd,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The Testimony of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the Nations may not doubt ; 1 saw
The Propher do him reverence, on him rising 80
out of the Water, Heav'n above the Clouds
Unfold her Chrystal Doors, thence on his head
A perfect Dove descend, what e'er it meant,
And out of Heav'n the Sovereign voice I hear,
This is my Son beloy'din him I'm pleas’d,

85 His Mother then is mortal, but his Sire, He who obtains the Monarchy of Heav'n, And what will he not do to advance his Son! His first-begot we know, and fore have felt, When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep,; Who this is we must learn, for Man he seems In all his lineaments, though in his face The glimpses of his Father's glory shine; Yet see our danger on the utmost edge Of hazard, which admits no long debate,

es But must with something sudden be oppos’d,

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Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven snares, Ere in the head of Nations he appear Their King, their Leader, and Supream on Earth. 1, when no other durft, sole undertook The dismal expedition to find out And ruin Adam, and th’exploit perform’d Successfully; a calmer Voyage now Will waft me; and the way found profp'rous ence Induces best to hope of like success. He ended, and his words impression left Of much amazement to th'infernal Crew. Distracted and surpriz'd with deep dismay At these sad tidings; but no time was then For long indulgence to their fears or grief: Unanimous thy all commit the care And management of this main Enterprize Tohim their great Dictator, whose attempt At first against mankind so well had thriv’d In Adam's overthrow, and led their march

IIS From Hell's deep-vaulted Den to dwell in light, Regents and Potentates, and kings, yea Gods Of many a pleasant Realm and Province wide. So to the Coast of Jordan he directs His easie steps ; girded with snaky wiles, Where he might likeliest find this new-declar'd, This Man of Men, attested Son of God, Temptation and all guile on him to try; So to subvert whom he suspeated rais'd To end his Reign on Earth so long enjoy'd: 125 But contrary unweeting he fulfill'd The purpos'd Council pre-ordain'd and fixt of the most High, who in full frequence bright Of Angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake. Gabriel this day by proof thou shalt behold, Thou and all Angels conversant on Earth With man or mens affairs, how I begin To verifie that solemn Message late,

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